Fiat S.p.A., Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co., Opel/Vauxhall, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen all saw steep declines in their European new-car sales in October as the region's auto market fell by 16.1 percent to 1.06 million units.
Fiat brand led the decline with a 36.4 drop in volume last month followed by Ford, whose sales were down by 29.3 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by ACEA, the European automakers association.
Renault brand sales fell 21.5 percent, PSA's volume was down 19.1 percent, while Opel/Vauxhall sales declined 18.7 percent and Volkswagen brand sales dropped by 13 percent.
Mass-market carmakers are seeing demand for their cars wane after the expiration of government trade-in incentives.
A bright spot was luxury brands. Premium carmakers BMW and Audi saw sales rise 6.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively, although sales at rival Mercedes-Benz brand fell 2.5 percent.
The falling volume “continues to show the difficulties faced by the car industry in the region,” after scrappage programs “heavily boosted” sales a year ago, Jonathan Poskitt, an analyst with J.D. Power & Associates, said. “The underlying weakness of the market is being revealed” as the subsidies end," he said.
IHS Global Insight said Volkswagen retained its customary position as the region's largest vehicle manufacturer by sales as it continued to marginally outperform the overall market decline in October.
Europe's second largest automaker PSA was not helped by its exposure to the weakening French and Spanish markets, Global Insight said, adding that Hyundai and Kia have recorded some of the smallest monthly declines this year and "have gained important market share."
Spain suffers biggest slump
European demand is declining as governments end or trim subsidies that were put in place last year to aid the auto industry during the global recession.